Exam 1 - RECONSTRUCTION History 2057 January 14, 2009...

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RECONSTRUCTION History 2057 January 14, 2009 History is about the interpretation of the past. The only things about history that is not interpretation are the factual details, but factual details themselves are not the history itself. Major Theme Throughout the Course In 1865 the U.S. was not a major world player. The U.S. was viewed in 1865 as a force to be reckoned with in this hemisphere, but not world wide. The U.S. had the military ability to protect itself, but not beyond that. It was not a diplomatic or economic superpower. It did not take any leading role in diplomacy. The U.S. didn’t really want to be a superpower. Today the U.S. is a superpower, some argue that the U.S. is THE superpower. The U.S. now keeps tabs on what happens globally. It is a huge powerhouse as far as a country goes today. 1 st theme: How the United States came to change roles to where we are today 2 nd theme: Domestic policy: in the ladder half of the 19 th century the U.S. government by our standards was miniscule. It barely existed. It didn’t do much, it was cheap to run and it did not require much revenue. Today there is a huge building near the white house, it is part of the office complex that runs the white house, back in the ladder half of the 19 th century that one building staffed the entire U.S. government. The expectations fro the government changes, which is a big storyline. What does the government do, what is the job, what are the expectations of the government? American have asked for more involved government over the decades. The size has radically changed over time. 3 rd : Culture, today for better or worse we live in a consumer culture and a consumer economy. The economy is tanking and what is being reported on every day is retail sales. Consumers are not spending, they are buying the essentials and the economy is continuing to tank, it appears. Policy makers are trying to figure out how to make people start spending money. Most of our economy is based on retail sales and consumer consumption, as well as our culture. We judge by what we have, outward appearance is extremely important. We are bombarded by advertising. The U.S. in the 1860s was not in a consumer culture. The culture of the 1860s is a producer culture. What did people do at home? What did people worry themselves with the most? PRODUCTION. They had to produce the basic products that they needed, not wanted. They produced their own food, furniture and clothes. They did not waste much, the production happened around the home. The consumption of these products happened around the home. The disposal of these items happened at home as well. No one today follows this producer culture. A complete transformation of culture 4 th theme: Race relations. There seems to be this general understanding that over time conditions get better. In this course, when dealing with race relations from 1865 to the ladder part of the 19 th century,
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you don’t have a steady progression from steady to better. Racial relations are better, but things go up and
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This note was uploaded on 10/29/2009 for the course HIST 2057 taught by Professor Rand during the Spring '08 term at LSU.

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Exam 1 - RECONSTRUCTION History 2057 January 14, 2009...

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